Handelsblatt auf Englisch Auto Scandal Hits Frankfurt Listings

Internet firm Scout24 sold $1.1 billion worth of shares on Thursday. But not everyone was celebrating. Listings by Bayer’s plastics maker Covestro and car parts manufacturer Schaeffler were both hit by fallout from the Volkswagen scandal.
  • Gilbert Kreijger and Axel Höpner
Schaeffler Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann Source vario images

Scout24, Germany’s largest digital classifieds company, sold €1 billion, or $1.1 billion, worth of new and existing shares and listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the Munich-based firm said on Thursday.

The owners of Scout24, U.S. private equity firms Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone, telecom operator Deutsche Telekom and employees, sold about 24 percent of the German firm’s share capital, excluding an option to sell extra stock.

After the listing, the firm, which operates Germany’s largest real estate website and Auto Scout 24, a digital marketplace for automobiles, is now valued at €3.2 billion.

But a good day of trading for Scout24 was a terrible one for two other key German firms also floating on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Plastics maker Covestro, a spin off from drugs and chemicals producer Bayer, continued to suffer knock-on effects from the Volkswagen emissions scandal, which shocked investors and consumers around the world last week.

Viewing the lasting stock market volatility following the Volkswagen crisis, Leverkusen-based Covestro decided on Thursday to scale down its ambitions.

The company, whose plastics are used to make headlights and panoramic car roofs, almost halved the size of its share sale to €1.5 billion from €2.5 billion, lowered the issue price range by 25 percent on average and postponed the listing by five days to October 6.

“External factors such as uncertainty surrounding future economic growth in China or the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy have contributed to increased market volatility,” Covestro said in a statement on Thursday.

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